Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mum comes to Marshall Part I

So with the house spic and span and mold issues finally resolved I was ready for Mum to arrive. My wonderful boss had set me up with a new laptop and internet as I would only be going into work one day a week and working a couple of days each week from home, as well as having a couple of days each week as vacation. I was really looking forward to Mum's visit as the last time we'd seen eachother was for Dad's funeral and it was going to be wonderful to have some happy times to spend with her. We had made no plans to see all my friends, we were both feeling that this was our time and we didn't really want to have our precious time with traveling to other peoples' houses or entertaining them ourselves. We spent all our time shopping, visiting local villages and towns, enjoying the fall colors of the countryside and simply just 'hanging out together'. There's no way I can remember what we did each single day of the month so this will be the highlights of the things we enjoying seeing together.
 We spent some time wandering around Marshall, looking at the antique and junk shops. We laughed at how everywhere we went there were stinkbugs. Mum, like me, didn't find them or their smell offensive and actually found them quite amusing, the way they bombed around sounding like little Messerschmitts and strolling casually across anything we wanted to look at. Mum loved the crafts on display in the stores and particularly the face on this little figurine. She wanted to buy it but we discovered it was missing part of a hand so decided not to.
Kota was very happy to see Grandma again.
We also went to a little local village called Orlean where we had a delicious simple lunch of soup and a sandwich.
 We nosed around the little craft shop there where Mum was delighted to find silk orange lanterns, something she couldn't find in England. We actually found more in Michaels and Joanna's Fabrics later so she went home with quite a large bunch.
 We had a fit of laughing in a Hallmark store, so loud that the staff couldn't contain their curiosity and had to come and investigate. We'd been looking at the cards and noticed that the Christmas cards were already out. I'd found a really pretty one with lots of sparkly bits and glitter on it and commented how I'd like to get that one for Christmas. So Mum said she'd get it for me and send it to me from her! We then tried to find that I could send to her but we were howling so much with the comic absurdity of picking out our own cards that we didn't manage to find one. We were still giggling in the car on the way home.
 Mum was pleased that I'd be cooking simple meals at Meadow House, neither of us are into rich fancy foods, so I threw together a stew in the crockpot. We had 8 different veggies in there besides the steak and I have to say it was delicious. Mum had mashed potatoes with the skins on for the first time, something I do all the time, and loved them. Rosie was fascinated with the heating elements in the oven and Kota joined Mum at the table for our meal.
 Mum was very taken with the next village along from Marshall, called The Plains. Robert Duvall lives here so we drove past his vast ranch on one trip here. We came to The Plains a few times as Mum loves the feel of the place. It has a couple of superb restaurants which we ate at a few times but Mum was most taken with the yarn shop there.
They had a knitting circle where even men sat clacking away with their needles. So many beautiful garments were hanging throughout the shop and the choice of wools was amazing. Lynn who runs the shop was extremely helpful and Mum bought wools to make scarves for herself and her friend Joy. I asked about knitting classes which they hold regularly, so I'm now thinking about fitting those somewhere into my free time during the winter months. Lynn also told us about a material shop in Marshall which I had no idea existed. We visited that too and was overwhelmed with the beautiful fabrics and trimmings filling the rooms. We also discovered a little quilting shop in Warrenton so that with these three little stores, Mum was quite overcome and singing the praises of the good ole USA. Nothing like these in England apparently!

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